January 21st, 4:30pm (T-Minus 25 Hours)
I'm standing outside the Crosby Street Hotel trying to flag a taxi back to Brooklyn. Anne and I had checked into our room minutes before, where Anne realized she'd left all of her dresses for the weekend (including the white one) in her bedroom closet in Brooklyn. I have one hour to bring the goods back to Manhattan before the rehearsal dinner starts at six.
Now, good fiance that I am, I'd be out here regardless, but this whirlwind trip will also redeem me for a serious faux pas the previous day. See, Anne could be a professional event planner (all of our vendors made that remark at some point), and part of her system was to give all members of the wedding party a detailed PDF itinerary and list of responsibilities for the weekend. Mine included an exhaustive amount of packing, everything from the escort cards to our honeymoon suitcase to my tuxedo. In what I now realize was a gross oversight, I did not read my itinerary, and therefore did not realize I was supposed to help with any of the last minute preparations. So I go out with my friends, then go to the gym, while Anne does everything on my list. Then prints out the list and gives it to me when I get home, without telling me that everything is done, so that I'll say things like, "Honey, have you seen the big suitcase?" and she'll glower and point to it, fully packed. And so on. For the next few hours. This is my punishment.
When I get back to the hotel with her dresses, thirty minutes before dinner is set to begin, I get a big kiss and am absolved of my sins. Like going to the mikvah.
Drumroll...wedding weekend is underway.
January 21st, 6:30pm (T-Minus 23 Hours)
The rehearsal dinner is at Kittichai Restaurant in SoHo, a swanky Thai restaurant we actually considered as a wedding venue. Great food, intimate company (just the bridal party). Notice in the photo Anne is wearing a dress and not a velour track suit. Go me.
January 22nd, 10:30am (T-Minus 7 Hours)
January 22nd, 11:30am (T-Minus 6 Hours)
January 22nd, 12:30pm (T-Minus 5 Hours)
By now I've fortunately read my itinerary for the day, so I know that it's time to order a light lunch for the crowd that will be arriving shortly for formal pictures. "No coffee, no soda, no ketchup, no colored food or drink of any kind. Protect the dress at all costs." I'll go do that now.
January 22nd, 1:30pm (T-Minus 4 Hours)
The women return from battle and I get my first glimpse of my gorgeous wife to be in her wedding dress. If I were a sentimental man instead of such a stoic, immovable, some might say mountain-esque man, I might have been deeply touched at this moment. Too bad. Time for a mozzarella sandwich and a bottle of water.
January 22nd, 2:30pm (T-Minus 3 Hours)Let the posed picture taking begin.
Fascinating for the adults. Not so much for the kids.
Our favorite photo. I take a small movie theater with me wherever I go.
All together now
January 22nd, 3:30pm (T-Minus 2 Hours)Formal pictures done, we arrive at the venue (The River Cafe in Brooklyn Heights). Our photographer seems unaware that it's six degrees outside (not kidding) and immediately marches us around the grounds for some nature shots. You can almost see Anne's teeth chattering in this one. She turns to me and asks to switch outfits. I politely decline.
Inside we find everything set up beautifully. Our eight tables are named after the homes Anne and I have lived in, from New Jersey to Long Island to Italy (where we met, studying abroad) to New York. One of Anne's father's many gifts to us throughout the engagement was hand painting a watercolor of each location, which we used instead of table numbers. We also printed smaller versions onto the escort cards for the guests.
January 22nd, 5:30pm (T-Minus 0 Hours It's Go Time)
January 22nd, 6:30pm
That's us in the glowing tent!
The hors d'oeuvres
The lobster ravioli
The miso glazed cod
The filet mignon
Throughout the meal we had some great toasts, including:
Dana (Maid of Honor): Announced she was going to read aloud emails from when Anne and I had first started dating, at which point Anne lost all color in her face. Fortunately, the excerpts were all PG.
Alex (Best Man): Proclaimed he liked Anne better than any of my "75 previous girlfriends."
John (Anne's dad): Chastised me for not proposing sooner
January 22nd, 10:00pm
January 22nd, 10:30pm